ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/127/D/3070/2017

Communication

3070/2017

Submission: 2017.12.11

View Adopted: 2019.10.30

Q.A. v. Sweden

Removal from Sweden to Afghanistan, state party failed to consider real and personal risk

Substantive Issues
  • Non-refoulement
  • Right to life
  • Torture / ill-treatment
Relevant Articles
  • Article 18
  • Article 6
  • Article 7
Full Text

Facts

The author is a national of Afghanistan and an ethnic Hazara, who claimed that deportation to Afghanistan by Sweden would violate his rights under articles 6, 7, and 18 of the Covenant. 

The author fled from Afghanistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2003 because of the conflict between the U.S. and the Taliban, and because his father was forced to leave to join the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. He was later separated from his family in Turkey and migrated to Sweden, where he discovered a new way of life.

The author applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015 however this was denied in early 2017. Author applied again in late 2017, noting his conversion to atheism placed him in mortal danger. Asylum was again denied and all appeals were also denied.

Complaint

The author complained that his deportation to Afghanistan would constitute a violation of articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, as he would be subjected to irreparable harm or even death if forcibly returned.

Merits

The Committee considered that the State party failed to adequately assess the author’s real, personal and foreseeable risk of returning to Afghanistan as a perceived apostate with myriad risk-enhancing factors. As such, the Committee considered that the State party failed to give due consideration to the consequences of the author’s personal situation in his country of origin and concludes that his removal to Afghanistan by the State party would constitute a violation of articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant.

Recommendations

The Committee recommended that the state party proceed to review the author’s case taking into account the State party’s obligations under the Covenant and the present Views of the Committee. The state party is also requested to refrain from expelling the author while his request for asylum is being reconsidered.

  • The state party was also requested to provide an effective and enforceable remedy when it has been determined that a violation has occurred.

Separate Opinions

Joint opinion of Committee members Christof Heyns, Photini Pazartzis and José Manuel Santos Pais (dissenting)

  • Committee members Christof Heyns, Photini Pazartzis and José Manuel Santos Pais respectfully disagreed with the majority on the basis that in their view, the particular facts of the case did not meet the threshold requirement for a violation of article 6 and 7.

Implementation

The State party has to present information about the measures taken to give effect to the Committee's Views by April 20, 2020.  

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